Incident Report

Incident Report No. 89

“ggrrrrrrr”, photograph by francois karm, CC-BY

Fuck Otto. I hate giving him any attention, but there he is. There he is. Gabino Iglesias said it best:

 He [Otto Penzler] has been in publishing for decades, which means his inability to see the need for diversity and his denial of the obvious biases that have shaped the publishing world for decades are things that stem from one of two things: pure stupidity or racism. I have time for neither.

The Exquisite Corpse wrapped up its second volume. The editors are looking for participants for the third.

Close to the Bone has released its first online magazine and it’s a good one featuring Holly Rae Garcia, Oliver Brennan, Paul Heatley, and the beginning of a serialized novel by Paul D. Brazill called “The Seatown Blues”. If you’ve never read Brazill before, here’s your chance to read wonderful lines like “Bryn immediately recognised Detective Inspector Slipper, a copper so bent you could use him as a pipe cleaner.”


Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, a celebrity book curator critiques celebrity bookshelves (Town & Country)

Michael J. Seidlinger interviewed by Tobias Carroll (Vol. 1 Brooklyn)

“A Day in the Life ~ Cassandra Raines” by Tracy Clark (dru’s book musings)

Interview with Art Taylor, author of “The Boy Detective & The Summer of 74 and Other Tales of Suspense” (Madam Mayo)

“Why P.I.s Are Cool” by D.P. Lyle (Kings River Life Magazine)

“AloneStarCon”, a funny piece by Michael Bracken (SleuthSayers)

“Do You Torture Your Metaphors? The Problem of Self-Conscious Writing” by Jessi Rita Hoffman (Jane Friedman)

Rob Pierce, author of “Tommy Shakes” (All Due Respect Books) interviewed (Col’s Criminal Library)

Interview with Bernard Schaffer (Writers Who Kill)

Interview with Laird Barron (Book & Film Globe)

K.A. Laity on some classic noir by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (Punk Noir)

Author Spotlight: Scott Adlerberg (Eight Million Books to Read)

“Maigret’s Room: The Home Life of Inspector Maigret” by John Lancaster (London Review of Books)

More about Otto (One Bite at a Time)

Short Stories

“Transcendent Ramblin’ Railroad Blues” by Michael Martin Garrett (Shotgun Honey)

“8 Thrilling Horror Stories You Can Read Online Right Now” (Chicago Review of Books)

Book Reviews

“Lockdown” edited by Nick Kolakowski and Steve Weddle (Polis Books) (BOLO Books)

“Rock -N- Noirror: Horror and Noir from the Seedy Side of Rock -N- Roll” edited by Wolfgang Potterhouse and Todd Morr (10th Rule Books) (Eight Million Books)

“Lost Tomorrows” by Matt Coyle (Oceanview Publishing) (Sons of Spade)

“Cold Water” by Tom Pitts (Down & Out Books) (Col’s Criminal Library)

“Tropical Heat” by John Lutz (Open Road Media) (Kevin’s Corner)

“The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren” by Paul Gorman (Little Brown) (Hyperallergic)

“Bonekeeper” by Luca Veste (The Tattooed Book Geek)

Flash Bang Mysteries: Spring 2020 Issue 19 (Kevin’s Corner)

“I Know Where You Sleep” by Alan Orloff (Down & Out Books) (Men Reading Books)

“Mystery Weekly Magazine” February 2020 (Kevin’s Corner)

“Gender Justice” by Nicky Charlish (Punk Noir)

“Clean Hands” by Patrick Hoffman (Col’s Criminal Library)

“The Lantern Man” by Jon Bassoff (Down & Out Books) (Black Guys Do Read)

“A Small Sacrifice” by Dana King (Messy Business)

“The Blues Don’t Care” by Paul D. Marks (Down & Out Books) (Lesa’s Book Critiques)

“Cutter’s Fall” by Julie Morrigan (Col’s Criminal Library)

“Evergreen” by Howard Owen (Kevin’s Corner)

“Worse Angels” by Laird Barron (MysteryPeople)

“Into Bones Like Oil” by Kaaron Warren (Meerkat Press) (Just A Guy Who Likes to Read)

True Crime

“Murder in Old Barns” by Linsday Jones (The Walrus)

“What Do You Do With a Stolen van Gogh? This Thief Knows” (The New York Times)


Interview with Ivy Pochado (The Maris Review)

ECR Minipod 2.5 “Wally Steakhouse” by J.D. Graves (EconoClash Review)

Other Media

Big Lonely City #102 (Fragments of Noir)

New live album by Margo Price (Bandcamp)

Raymond Carver reading (YouTube)

Interview with Graeme Manson, creator of “Orphan Black” and the new “Snowpiercer” (LA Review of Books)

Big Lonely City #103 (Fragments of Noir)

How The Bryan/Brian Schism Worked For Roxy Music (Quietus)

“Grant the Mini-Series – A Popular Reassessment” (Scott D. Parker)

“How the Banjo Put Down Roots in North Carolina” by Kara Kundert (No Depression)

Featured Books

“Lake County Incidents” by Alec Cizak (ABC Group Documentation)

“Rigged” by D.P. Lyle (Oceanview Publishing)

“The Lantern Man” by Jon Bassoff (Down & Out Books)

“River Bottom Blues” by Ricky Bush (Fahrenheit Press)

“Mister Trot from Tin Street” by Pablo D’Stair (All Due Respect Books)

 “The Mark” by Simon Maltman (Close to the Bone, UKUS)

Thanks for stopping by to read Incident Report No. 89. If you’d like to read more posts like this, please click here.


PIs, Trains, and Malcolm McLaren

Small Crimes: Tuesday Reads

PIs, Trains, and Malcolm McLaren | Rigged by D.P. Lyle

“PIs, Trains, and Malcolm McLaren – Small Crimes: Tuesday Reads” features Ivy Pochado, D.P. Lyle, Tom Pitts, Matty Coyle, Snowpiercer, and much more.

Article: Interview with Art Taylor, author of “The Boy Detective & The Summer of 74 and Other Tales of Suspense” (Madam Mayo)

Article: “Why P.I.s Are Cool” by D.P. Lyle (Kings River Life Magazine)

Book Review: “Lost Tomorrows” by Matt Coyle (Oceanview Publishing) (Sons of Spade)

Book Review: “Cold Water” by Tom Pitts (Down & Out Books) (Col’s Criminal Library)

Book Review: “Tropical Heat” by John Lutz (Open Road Media) (Kevin’s Corner)

Book Review: “The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren” by Paul Gorman (Little Brown) (Hyperallergic)

Short Story: “Transcendent Ramblin’ Railroad Blues” by Michael Martin Garrett (Shotgun Honey)

Podcast: Interview with Ivy Pochado (The Maris Review)

Podcast: ECR Minipod 2.5 “Wally Steakhouse” by J.D. Graves (EconoClash Review)

Television: Interview with Graeme Manson, creator of “Orphan Black” and the new “Snowpiercer” (LA Review of Books)

Photographs: Big Lonely City #103 (Fragments of Noir)

Book: “Rigged” by D.P. Lyle (Oceanview Publishing)

Thanks for stopping by Unlawful Acts and reading “PIs, Trains, and Malcolm McLaren”. For more Small Crimes, click here.


Home Invasion, Roller Derby, and George Jones

Small Crimes: Monday Reads

“Home Invasion, Roller Derby, and George Jones – Small Crimes: Monday Reads” features Rob Pierce, Tess Makovesky, Stephen Graham Jones, and more.

Article: “Incident Report No. 87” comes at you with Chris Rhatigan on writing short stories, Max Booth III on trigger warnings, lots of Dana King, and much more. (Unlawful Acts)

Article: “Roller Derby and Mystery” by A.J. Devlin (Do Some Damage)

Article: “Thrillers Bring The Light” by James Scott Bell (Kill Zone)

Listicle: “25 Classic But Lesser-Known Crime Novels to Read in Lockdown, From King Dido to the Sam Dean Series” by Sarah Hughes (inews)

Book Review: “Tommy Shakes” by Rob Pierce (All Due Respect Books) (Col’s Criminal Library)

Book Review: “Rigged” by D.P. Lyle (Oceanview) (Lesa’s Book Critiques)

Book Review: “The Only Good Indians” by Stephen Graham Jones (Saga Press) (Malcolm Avenue Reviews)

Photographs: Big Lonely City #101 (Fragments of Noir)

Music: Drug dealers put up George Jones reel-to-reel tapes as bail decades ago (Saving Country Music)

Book: “Raise the Blade” by Tess Makovesky (Amazon)

Thanks for stopping by Unlawful Acts and reading “Home Invasion, Roller Derby, and George Jones”. For more Small Crimes, click here.


Cliffs, Crows, Stephen King

"KIng of the Crows" by Russell Day | Crows, Cliffs, Stephen King

“Cliffs, Crows, Stephen King” features a short story by Sharon Diane King, and links to R.G. Belsky, Stephen King, Jake Hinkson, Mia P. Manansala, and more.

Short Story: “On The Edge” by Sharon Diane King (All Due Respect)

Interview: R.G. Belsky, author of “The Last Scoop” (Oceanview Publishing) (Criminal Element)

Interview: An interview with John Brandon, author of “Arkansas” (McSweeney’s)

Article: Mia P. Manansala on the importance of the Eleanor Taylor Bland Award (Criminal Element)

Book Review: To say that Gabino Iglesias loved “Blackwood” by Michael Farris Smith would be a understatement (Mystery Tribune)

Book Review: “Nude on Thin Ice” by Gil Brewer (Black Guys Do Read)

Book Review: “The Big Ugly” by Jake Hinkson (Col’s Criminal Library)

Book Review: “The Night Watchman” by Louise Erdrich (Los Angeles Review of Books)

New Release: “King of the Crows” by Russell Day (Fahrenheit Press)

Thanks for stopping by Unlawful Acts and reading “Cliffs, Crows, Stephen King”. For more Small Crimes, click here.


Mambo, OCD, and Tattoos

Small Crimes: Friday Reads

A Bouquet of Bullets by Eric Beetner | Small Crimes: Mambo, OCD, and Tattoos.

“Small Crimes: Mambo, OCD, and Tattoos” includes The Digital Reader, Stephen J. Golds, Wendy Heard, R.G. Belsky, Seamus Dignan, Eric Beetner, and more.

Essay: “The #MurderBot Series is Everything Wrong With TradPub” by Nate Hoffelder (The Digital Reader)

Essay: “Leaving Home For Work with OCD” by Stephen J. Golds (Punk Noir)

Interview: Wendy Heard talked to Gabino Iglesias about her books and tattoos. (EconoClash Review)

Book Review: “The Last Scoop” by R.G. Belsky (Oceanview Publishing) (Men Reading Books)

Book Review: “Inside Cut” by Tom Fowler (Self-Published) (Sons of Spade)

Short Story: “The Butcher’s Wife” by Seamus Dignan (Close to the Bone)

Music: “How Mambo Came to Miami” by Kara Kundert (No Depression)

Free Book: “A Bouquet of Bullets” by Eric Beetner (Amazon)1

Thank you for stopping by and reading “Small Crimes: Mambo, OCD, and Tattoos”. Click here for more Small Crimes.

1 The original publisher is no more and Eric is giving away this collection of short stories for free until this Saturday.


Small Crimes: Thursday Reads

K. A. Laity on “Detours”, the book by Martin H. Goldsmith and the two films based on the book (Punk Noir)

If you’re angry at a person and you want to kill them in your book, Peter Derk proposes an alternate way to deal with that anger (LitReactor)

Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer: Renato Bratkovič (Punk Noir)

Interview with Max Allan Collins (Criminal Element)

Book Review: “Stay Ugly” by Daniel Vlasaty (All Due Respect) (This Desperate City)

Scott D. Parker to read and record the entirety of his book, “Wading into War” (Scott D. Parker)

“Revolver”, a short story, by Jim Hamilton (Shotgun Honey)

Podcast: James L’Etoile interviewed by Dana King (Wrong Place, Write Crime)

X release a new album called “Alphabetland” and you can listen to it for free (Pitchfork)

“The Last Scoop” by R.G. Belsky (Oceanview Publishing)


Broken Ground by Joe Clifford

Broken Ground by Joe CliffordJay Porter, the protagonist of the Joe Clifford’s latest book “Broken Ground” (Oceanview Publishing), is trying to get past some issues that would have buried a lesser man, but Porter isn’t safe, far from it. Porter has lost much over the last few years: his brother, his wife, his best friend, and his boss/mentor. At the beginning of “Broken Ground”, we see Porter getting his life back together. His ex-wife and son have moved closer to Porter’s town and even though his boss/mentor has moved away and sold the estate clearing business off to a competitor, Porter has started his own business. It’s not doing exceptionally well but it is moving in the right direction.

Porter has a couple of hot buttons that get him going, buttons that people know how to push. He still might live in an apartment above a gas station, drive a truck without heat in the New Hampshire winter, but he’s also going to AA. He’s given up beer but not his meds for his periodic crippling anxiety. It’s at an AA meeting where he meets Amy Lupus who tries to hire Porter to find her missing sister, a college student last seen at a drug rehabilitation center owned by the Lombardi family. Porter isn’t a licensed investigator but Lupus knows about Porter has a soft spot for helping young people in trouble and a hatred for the Lombardis.

“Broken Ground” is an atypical P.I. novel. As the fourth book of the Jay Porter series, we have a good idea who the guilty parties are and we might even think we know where this is all headed, however, that’s all to be decided in the fifth and possibly last Porter novel. What drives “Broken Ground” is Porter himself; his weariness, his angst, and his crisis of faith in himself are what plague him. There’s no yelling at Porter to grab himself up by his bootstraps. Porter’s despair is real and expertly fleshed out by Clifford. What struck me with “Broken Ground” is that it may be a difficult read due to Porter’s pain, but Clifford’s writing is so damn good that it makes “Broken Ground” a pleasure to read. If you’re expecting a standard P.I. novel, this isn’t it. Instead Clifford’s “Broken Ground” is a thoughtful book of a man trying to find his place in the world.

Amazon: AU CA UK US


Give Up the Dead by Joe Clifford

Give Up the Dead (Oceanview Publishing) is the third in Joe Clifford’s Jay Porter PI series. Reading Clifford’s latest makes me thankful of that I gave up my compulsion to read a new-to-me series in order — all that does is make my TBR longer. Jumping into the latest book severely cuts down on my TBR except in cases like this where I finished Give Up the Dead and then added Cliffords’ December Boys and Lamentation, and his fictional memoir Junkie Love to my TBR. Best intentions, I guess.

The latest Jay Porter book opens over Thanksgiving weekend in Clifford’s fictional New Hampshire which could go to toe to toe with Russel Bank’s own New England bleakness: Porter eats Thanksgiving dinner with his ex-wife and son in a Denny’s. This is not even the low point in Porter’s life. He lives alone in an apartment above a gas station where he keeps his apartment too cold because he cannot afford to heat it. Porter’s nights usually consist of lamely-cooked pasta and a six-pack of beer, all of which is chased by a few Marlboro Lights. His days are not much better, “By noon I was sick of stale coffee, cigarettes, and my neurosis.”

Porter’s neuroses consist of plenty of bad decisions that haunt him continuously: a job that may disappear, a son living in another man’s house, thoughts of his brother and countless what ifs, and his best friend slowly killing himself with alcohol. The irony with his friend’s demise is that Porter cannot see his own reflection in his friend’s alcoholism and desperate life. In one scene, Porter talks to a woman about a young man who has gone missing.

“This is my job. I help run a drug and alcohol center. You do this long enough, you start to see patterns, recognize reoccurring looks. An expression in the eye.”

“I have a . . . reoccurring look?” I scoffed, inviting commentary with a two-finger curl. “Okay, let’s have it. What’s my ‘look’?”

She didn’t miss a beat. “You look like a guy who drinks every day. Mostly beer. So you don’t think it’s a problem. You look like a guy who set limits for himself. No more than a six-pack a night. Most nights he keeps that promise. Except sometimes he gets stressed, and then, fuck it. But that’s okay, because it’s just beer, right? You look like a guy who knows people who drink way more than he does, people with real drug and alcohol problems.” Alison glanced at my callused hands. “You work outdoors. Heavy lifting. In the trenches, man’s work. None of that cubicle bullshit for you, and out in the fields, men like you can handle their alcohol. Most of all, men like you don’t ask for help even when it’s beginning to affect their personal life.”

“My personal life?”

“I’ll go out on a limb and say you are divorced?”

“Anything else?”

“Since you asked.” There was that smile again. “Judging by the dark circles under your eyes, I’m guessing you don’t sleep too well, high strung, anxiety issues. You need something to relax, help you rest, sleeping pills, benzos, the occasional painkiller. But you don’t touch anything illegal. Anything you take, a doctor prescribes.” Alison smirked. “Am I close?”

“Not even. I don’t touch painkillers.”

“I noticed the limp, so I figured—”

“You figured wrong.” I shook my head, incredulous. “It’s been a bad few years. But I don’t have a problem.”


Even if Porter cannot see his problems, everyone else can.

After writing some 250 words, I realized that I barely mentioned the crimes surrounding this piece of crime fiction. And as good as the mysteries are in Joe Clifford’s Give Up the Dead, they are not the reason to read this book, it is Jay Porter’s authenticness in life’s struggles which captivated me. Porter is the remnant of a Springsteen lyric, he is desperately trying to reclaim what was once his. Porter seems to be drifting to towards forgiving himself, but if Clifford’s series ends in tragedy, no reader would be surprised.